David Waldrop, President
Lake Wales, FL
David is a graduate of USF with a BS in Engineering Technology and is employed by the Lake Wales Charter School District. He has been a member of the Florida Trail Association since 2005 having joined after working with members of the Heartland Chapter doing trail maintenance. He is a section leader for the Kissimmee River section of the FNST.
Pete Durnell, VP Governance
Pete graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a BA in Psychology and has an MA in International Relations from the University of Arkansas. After graduating from Miami, he joined the US Air Force and served a 20-year career there with a focus on Intelligence. After serving at various locations worldwide with the USAF, including living and working in England for several years, Pete returned to the US in 1994 and joined the FTA.
Pete became active with the Central Florida Chapter serving as an Activity Leader, Activity Coordinator, and Chapter Chair. He helped with the transition of the FTA Footprint from a newspaper format to a magazine format and served as co-editor and editor. He joined the Board in 2000 and served as a Director, Vice President of Administration and President until 2011. He has now rejoined the board.
Ralph Hancock, VP Trails
St. Petersburg, FL
Ralph joined Florida Trail Association in 1991 after learning of FTA on a day hike in Myakka State Park and has served as Trail Master, Section Leader, Trail Coordinator, in addition to two terms as Chapter Chair. He joined the Board of Directors in 2008 and served for 4 years. He has recently rejoined the Board. Currently he is Section Leader of Green Swamp West. He is also a member of the Appalachian Trial Conservancy and has backpacked over 1,700 miles of the AT.
Ralph graduated from Georgia Southern College in 1964 with a degree in Business Administration. After college joining the Army and later Air Force Reserves. Worked as a sales representative for two national manufacturers in the hardware industry, later joining the family metal finishing business. In 1990 along with a partner opened his own shop until selling it and retiring 2015.
Pam Hale, Treasurer
Palm Bay, FL
Pam has been an FTA member since 1978 and has served in a number of volunteer capacities including chapter officer, activity leader, section leader, state Director, VP-Administration and Treasurer. Together with her husband and two sons, she put in many hours developing and maintaining trails in the Central Florida area. She is also an avid hiker, logging miles on trail from the U.S. desert southwest to the mountains of Europe. She is a Leave-No Trace Master Educator.
Pam is a graduate of Rollins College with a degree in Business Administration and minors in accounting and organizational communication. She has been employed with Harris Corporation for over 30 years in various accounting, finance and business operations roles, currently as a lead financial analyst on federal government programs.
Deborah Schroth, Secretary
Orange Park, FL
Deborah has been a member of the North Florida TrailBlazers for a number of years now, and participates in hikes, maintenance work, and has volunteered for IDidAHike for the past three years. She is proud to have a National Scenic Trail in Florida, and knows the importance of managing this resource. She is a Florida public interest attorney interested in environmental matters with experience in both state and federal regulatory matters.
For almost 25 years she has worked for non-profit law firms, gaining public advocacy and litigation skills. She is experienced in grant writing, and for a number of years was tasked with raising the money for her own salary.
Jan S. Wells, PhD, AICP, Director
Jan is a native Floridian and graduate of Florida State University. However, she spent most of her professional life in New Jersey where she taught urban planning at Rutgers University, specializing in housing, land use and transportation. Her major focus of research concerned transit oriented development and pedestrian issues.
Jan is an avid hiker and in addition to being active in FTA since she returned to Florida. Jan is the Chapter Chair for the FTA’s Heartland Chapter. She is a long time member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, life member of the New Jersey-New York Trail Conference, member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Carolina Mountain Club. She loves to travel and has hiked widely in the US and around the world. Jan also serves as a docent at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.
Greg Knecht, Director
Greg was born and raised in Winter Haven Florida and has always enjoyed the outdoors. After graduating from FSU with a degree in Biology, he spent 20 years working for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection principally on South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Projects. In 2012 he joined The Nature Conservancy and is currently the Deputy Executive Director, he is responsible for developing and implementing strategies and policies for the chapter’s marine, climate, cities, fresh water and land programs along with the government relations program. He’s an avid cyclist, hiker and kayaker and absolutely loves Florida’s diverse natural areas.
Bill Turman, VP Membership
Bill was born and raised in central Virginia and as a Boy Scout attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He enjoyed many backpacking trips on the AT. A graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Civil / Structural Engineering, he began his career as a construction engineer, then design engineer with Dominion Resources / Virginia Power. A unique work highlight included underwater inspection activities as part of the civil engineering dive team.
Bill moved to central Florida in 1990 when he took an engineering position with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he helped develop and implement gas turbine and combined cycle power plants. His responsibilities increased as he progressed into the positions of group and department manager within Westinghouse and later Siemens Power Generation when Siemens purchased Westinghouse. A career highlight was living in Germany, performing the integration manager duties.
A member of the Florida Trail Association since 1991, he has backpacked and hiked many of the trails in central Florida. Since retiring, Bill has been active with the Central Florida Chapter, helping to perform trail maintenance activities, acting as an activity leader, chapter chair, and representative at the Chapter Council. He is an avid hiker, cyclist and kayaker, and enjoys traveling the country with his A-frame camper, visiting the National Parks.
Darryl Updegrove, Director
Panama City, FL
Darryl was born in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in electrical engineer, he has spent the last 31 years working for the Department of Defense, first in Virginia, and now in Panama City, Florida. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University in 1998, and Master of Business Administration from FSU in 2012.
He joined the local chapter of the FTA in 2016, and has since become co-chair, chair (current), activity coordinator (current), and activity leader, and been certified as a sawyer.
He enjoys cycling and hiking. He is active in his church, where he plays the electric bass for worship services.
Tom Daniel, Director
Tom grew up in Hialeah, Florida and resided in Dade County for 35 years. In 1980 his family moved to Pensacola. He received a BS in Accounting from Florida State University. He began volunteering with the Florida Trail Association in 1998 and has held positions as Activity Leader, Trailmaster, Eglin Section Leader, Trail Coordinator, FTA Board member, VP Membership (3/2007 – 12/2009) and VP Trails (3/2011 – 3/2016). He is a founding member of the Choctawhatchee Chapter which serves Okaloosa and Walton Counties. He served as Trail Coordinator from the Chapters inception until February 2017. He personally supervised and coordinated the routing and construction of 95+ miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail on Eglin, Nokuse Plantation and Northwest Florida Water Management Division lands.
In the aftermath the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, Tom coordinated trail recovery in the Western Panhandle with local volunteers and USDA-FS. His trail related schools include Trail Crew Leader Training at the University of North Georgia and participation in several American Hiking Society trail maintenance and construction Volunteer Vacations.
As an Activity / Crew Leader, Tom has organized and lead well over 100 Florida Trail maintenance and trail construction activities. He has served as the Choctawhatchee Chapter Meetup Organizer from October 2008 until present. He and Anne are Lifetime Members of the Florida Trail Association.
Shellie Johnson, Director
Shellie has a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Her career has focused on land planning for both the public and private sector, representing both community and development interests. As a result, she has an in-depth understanding of creating balance with regard to public good versus private benefit.
Shellie grew up in Tampa and has been a Florida Trail member on and off since the 1980’s. As a native Floridian, she enjoys getting on the trail and experiencing our Florida ecosystems, and recognizes that preservation of our environment is paramount to the continued enjoyment of our flora and fauna that play such a significant role in the tourism industry of our state. Shellie is currently semi-retired and lives in LaBelle, where she enjoys small town charm and rural living.
Amanda Kincaid, Director
Panama City, FL
Amanda was born and lives in the Florida panhandle. She graduated from Florida State University with degrees in English and Italian and the University of Florida with a degree in Law. She works as an attorney for the State of Florida.
She began hiking in college with her father and has since found a love for long section hikes. She was a 2018 Granite Gear Groundskeeper, picking up trash as she hiked along the Florida Trail.
Leslie Wheeler, Director
Leslie has been a member of Florida Trail Association ever since she went with the Western Gate Chapter on a field trip to Garcon Point and observed rare pitcher plants on her hands and knees. That would be 15+ years ago. After she moved to Jacksonville, she became active in the North Florida Trailblazers Chapter and has been instrumental in keeping that chapter going during a period of low activity. She considers her time serving at the state level as a learning experience and is grateful for the opportunity to meet many members of our great organization.
Leslie graduated from Millsaps College with a BS in Biology. She became a medical technologist and earned her Specialist in Blood Banking at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. She has a Master of Healthcare Administration from Tulane University. After a long career of managing transfusion services at Florida hospitals, she now works part time as a validation specialist for a healthcare software company.